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Zhu Min: Making Tenfold Efforts to Promote Post-Epidemic Economic Rebound in

Time: 2020-02-23 17:45 Print

In the morning of February 22, 2020, the second lecture of Tsinghua PBCSF Executive Education Online Forum was hosted as scheduled. Zhu Min, Chair of National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University and Former Deputy Managing Director of IMF, lectured on “The New Situation of Economic Development in 2020”. In view of the macro-impact of the ongoing pneumonia epidemic caused by COVID-19 and the background that China is about to enter an era of high-income country, Zhu Min introduced the policies and measures to achieve China’s economic growth targets for 2020.

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Since the outbreak of the pneumonia epidemic caused by COVID-19, the entire nation has made unremitting efforts to combat the epidemic, but has also suffered heavy losses. Zhu Min believed that, from the perspective of total demand, total supply and the general macroeconomic cycle, the impact brought by the epidemic to the economy would outrun that of the SARS epidemic in 2003 to a far greater extent. He predicted that the national consumption would decrease by RMB 1.38 trillion in the first two months of 2020. “We need to develop a keen insight into the enormous negative impact of the epidemic on the economy,” said Zhu Min: “The impact brought by the epidemic is serious, and we need to make ten-fold efforts to promote an economic rebound.”                               

“Therefore, we need to seize every opportunity to control the epidemic and, at the same time, resume work. Besides, we need structural policy support. The central government and local governments need to work together. And the government and the market need to make joint efforts. Following the economic shutdown for 20 days, where would the first demand come from? In my opinion, government authorities can increase and advance their procurement as the first demand to support the resumption of work.”, said Zhu Min.

Zhu Min also said that at present, the government authorities have issued many favorable macro policies from various aspects to support enterprises in  resuming work, ranging from financial liquidity support, fiscal and tax support to customs exports. However, it takes time for the policies to take effect. Therefore, quick actions need to be taken to give enterprises flexibility and autonomy as well as adequate logistical support.

In 2020, China’ per capita GDP is expected to reach US$10,000, crossing the threshold of high-income countries. Zhu Min believes that the epidemic is an important aspect that affects the current Chinese economy, but we need to put it into a greater context that is fundamentally a more significant historical stage in the long run.

However, it is not easy for China to turn from a middle-income country into a high-income one. How can we lay a good starting point for this? Zhu Min believes that, on the one hand, the reform and opening-up should continue, so as to overcome the bottleneck of low labor productivity in non-market-oriented service industries; on the other hand, scientific and technological innovation (Internet + cloud + artificial intelligence + 5G) has played a great role in the combat against the epidemic. When the epidemic is over, both enterprise operations and online consumption by residents will embrace a new wave of digital climax which will further promote digitalization and intelligence on this basis and embrace the future of the new economy. 

“If a series of targeted policies can be implemented and major breakthroughs made, we will be still having great confidence to achieve the economic and social growth targets for 2020. The key is to have a strong economic rebound.” he said.

The second lecture of Tsinghua PBCSF Online Executive Education was broadcasted live on more than 10 media platforms, and attracted more than 2.4 million online viewers. As an important part of the public-interest online learning program launched by Tsinghua PBCSF Executive Education, the Tsinghua PBCSF Executive Education Online Forum encompasses six modules, namely macro outlook, industry response, management practice, financial trends, new scientific knowledge, and health management. The online learning program also includes online learning packages that integrate Tsinghua University’s educational resources and provide online learning resources on the three major themes of macro, finance and scientific innovation. In addition, exclusive learning resources are available to Tsinghua PBCSF alumni, including exclusive lectures, reading sessions, sharing sessions and internal learning materials.